ARLINGTON, Texas - An Arlington police officer accidentally shot and killed a woman while he was trying to stop an aggressive dog.
The Tarrant County Medical Examiner has identified the woman as 30-year-old Margarita Brooks. She had apparently passed out in a grassy area near Canton Drive and North Collins Street Thursday afternoon. Someone called police around 5 p.m. for a welfare check.
Police said as a responding officer called out to Brooks and approached her to check on her, an unrestrained dog began barking and running toward him.
He pulled out his weapon and fired several shots at the dog. He then heard the woman scream and realized she'd been hit.
Brooks was taken to the hospital where she later died.
The dog was possibly grazed and taken to the Arlington animal shelter to be checked out, police said.
"I thought maybe somebody had heat exhaustion because it was so hot. So when I got back over to the room, I talked to some other people and they said they heard gunshots, like 2 or 3 of them. And I'm like, ‘Oh okay.' So then when I kept hearing the police sirens. I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, something serious happened,'" said Latonya Stotts, who lives nearby.
Stotts said a lot of people in her neighborhood seem to be upset about what happened. She said she doesn't believe the woman was a threat and thinks there was no excuse for the officer to kill her like that, she said.
"It's kind of touching people's hearts. A lot of people are very upset about what happened. The young lady and her fella was really nice people. They never really bothered anybody. Whatever the case had been today, whatever happened today that gave that officer a reason to kill her just doesn't make no sense. And it's just sad. It's really sad," she said.
The incident was captured on body camera, which will be included in the investigation.
It's unclear if the officer will face any charges.